“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” — Romans 15:5-7
The Greek word “proslambano” means “to receive,” “to accept by drawing near,” “to take to oneself” and “to take aside.” How needed is this “one another” command at a time when our culture seems to promote divisions over ethnicity, economic standing and other factors? Christians are called to break down barriers and promote unity in the body of Christ.
The word “proslambano” is used 11 times in the New Testament. By looking at three of those occurrences, we can learn from some practical examples of how to “welcome or accept one another.”
In Acts 18:26 (ESV), when Priscilla and Aquilla encountered Apollos at Ephesus, “they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.”
In Acts 28:2 (ESV), on the occasion of Paul and others being shipwrecked on the island of Malta, we read, “The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold.”
When the Christian relationship between Onesimus and Philemon needed to be restored, Paul wrote and encouraged Philemon to “receive him as you would receive me” (Philemon 1:17, ESV).
How are you working on being accepting of others in a way that makes them feel loved? How are you breaking down the barriers that culture has put up around us? We, as Christians, are called to go above and beyond social acceptance; we are called to love.
— Jeff Totten, Detroit Tigers chaplain
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